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April 28th , 2016

Assessing the fuck off

I'm of course still contemplating my decision to ditch the facebook. Yes, my major problem turned out to be that people in real life couldn't keep their mouths shut about the derp that is inherent online. Yes, I've only ultimately made it harder to see the derp, not eliminated my ability to see it at all if I am ultimately compelled. Most importantly perhaps, yes, I should stay and push back and call these xenophobic dickheads on their shit, because silence is consent.

Given all that, I still feel good about my decision. Moving across town to get away from toxic waste isn't as good as leaving the state, but it's still an improvement. And while telling people who want to boycott Target that they are small minded hateful bigots feels good, I'm still stuck ruminating for days on how upset ignorance makes me and lamenting the fact that I hate the place where I grew up with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns.

The GOP revels in the concept of "Real America". It longs for something that frankly, never existed. Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel, and if this rhetoric doesn't upset you, well it'd take quite an argument to convince me you are not a real moron. Real or "normal" America doesn't mean what they think it does. I know that facts mean nothing to them, or are at least overridden by their guts, so for now, I'm going to bury the shit instead of continuing to dip a toe to see if the shit is still shit.

Posted 1:41pm
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April 26th , 2016

Na na, nana na na, hey hey hey, goodbye

Social media is generally really good at letting you be passive aggressive. Most platforms let you give an Irish goodbye to your friends via a block or an unfollow - and they don't even have to know it. You just don't have to be inundated with their bullshit in your feed or timeline anymore.

This has worked very well for me over the years. Out of the few hundred "friends" I had on facebook, there were really only a dozen or so that I actually followed. The rest could post all the inanities they liked and I was none the wiser. Except for the fact that approximately twice a year I'd get a "Did you see what so and so posted on facebook?" and then I'd be compelled to look and have my day ruined.

Turns out my brother-in-law is a real Grade A conservative asshole. A while back he lost his shit when gay marriage was legalized, and now he's having a conniption about all of the hateful, disgusting, transphobic bathroom laws being passed around the country. Apparently blocking him from my timeline hasn't far enough removed me from his toxicity, so I decided to just quit facebook.

It's a completely redundant platform anyway. Almost everything I see on it is duplicated on instagram or twitter. Since I think wishing someone happy birthday on there is bullshit anyway, I fail to see what I'm going to miss out on by abandoning ship. I mean, the ugly, hateful rhetoric that makes me want to punch someone I used to like, but I'm guessing I can live without that.

Posted 8:53am
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April 21st , 2016

Tales from the Buckeye State

One of the things you have to tell children these days is that everything on the internet lives forever. Not just that if you write a blog for ten years that you'll eventually be embarrassed by the quality of your writing from your youth, but that every picture, comment, review or tweet is going to exist long after your dead for anyone to find. Good times, and bad.

Adults need to remember the infinite nature of the internet's memory too. And when you helm a popular internet destination like tbaggervance.com, there's always a chance that something you post goes viral. Or at least gets co-opted by another website that even more people are likely to see. Take the website for the Put-in-Bay Jet Express, who has apparently co-opted a picture from our little abode to promote the debauchery that is Put-in-Bay.

Don't worry, the tbaggervance.com legal team is working on arranging appropriate compensation for the fact that a commercial entity is using our art to sell their services. Also, don't worry that I might at some point take down any embarrassing thing I've written or posted here. Everything on the internet lives forever. Remember that.

- I feel like I've been too nice to Ohio in this post. So to right the ship, let's all point and laugh at how many Limp Bizkit fans there still are in that godforsaken state. I hope they really can "make Dayton a kind of cool spot that we could all come to and rock out." Unfortunately, I've been there. I wouldn't hold my breath.

Posted 9:30am
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April 12th , 2016

Watch out!

- Here's the 100 greatest action one-liners in film history. Recommended for when you are all out of bubblegum.

- Nick Offerman's shower thoughts. Like a 21st century Jack Handy.

- The plethora of things that even non-Nerds know about Star Wars despite the fact that they aren't mentioned in the movie may astound you.

- Dan Harmon's brilliant web series Great Minds visits with Billy Shakespeare.

- The Thermals rally for Bernie, play the Blind Pig next Thursday.

- Not sure why this is posted now, but here's a video of the differences in Scott Pilgrim, book to movie (GO!)

- Anyone with any taste will tell you that Mel Blanc was one of the great actors of the 20th century - even if you rarely saw his face. So relish this opportunity to see him crack up Jack Benny (about 12 minutes in).

Posted 2:17pm
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March 31st, 2016

Hell is other people.

People often mock research that tends to fit what common sense has already told us. Well you may not feel that way about this, but I sure as shit do. Everyone scoffs and laughs when I tell them what I want for a present is to be left alone. From now on I do so with a copy of this article.

Posted 10:35am
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March 23rd, 2016

Spot a penis, win $2500.

The state of Kansas is a tire fire. Don't believe me? Google Kansas Brownback and read half a million articles about how going full conservative in the state has left it reeling. It's not surprising, supply side/trickle down economic theories are so debunked that even the people who started the notion have disavowed them. It doesn't work. Brownback has called his governorship a "real live experiment", and the evidence all points to a massive failure.

So as they strip Kansas's education system to pay for tax cuts for the wealthy, they've also decided to win a few points with the uneducated by offering $2500 to any student who spots a transgender student using the 'wrong' bathroom at a public school OR university. I'd like to think that anyone I know would be appalled and livid over something so obviously abhorrent, but in case you do exist, fuck you.

I get it if transgender rights aren't what get you out to the polls. I understand if you don't rush out to protest or send massive amounts of money to support people from being marginalized and segregated. But your vote for Trump and Cruz are explicit support for those ideals. They're not American. They sure as shit ain't Christian. But maybe it's what you stand for. If so, you are a wretched, horrible subhuman being. Your priorities are repugnant and I hope against hope that you don't have children, because god forbid you put the hatred that exists in your cold black heart into anyone else's worldview.

Posted 10:35am
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March 21st, 2016

Of course Ted Cruz looks like the guy from Stryper

It's one of those things that seems inevitable once revealed. They are both emblems of something so antiquated that it's amazing to any thinking person that they still exist. Not only that, they're the weird christian version of that thing that even the rank and file hate because they are an unlikable joke. Stryper and Ted Cruz - being pointed and laughed at for decades now. We all long for the day when we can forget about Cruz like we had forgotten about Stryper, until the next horrible thing comes along and we can recycle them as a punch line, because that's all either have ever really been good for. That and their stupid, punchable faces.

 

Posted 10:35am
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March 11th, 2016

This Week in Indie Rock

- Your bit of Friday afternoon pretension: George Saunders writes about Wilco in the New York Times. If you stay around long enough, mainstream becomes an inevitability. They also played a Tiny Desk concert.

- New tunes from Modern Baseball, a band doing it's best to keep my nineties self alive.

- Rolling Stone almost agrees with my 90s self , naming Nothing Feels Good as the third best emo album of all time. This is fine, because somehow the underdog coming in first wouldn't seem right.

- For those of you with an 80s version of yourself, here's Violent Femmes on Colbert.

- New music from Jeff Buckley, the Tupac of sensitive indie rock snobs.

- Jack White covered Stevie Wonder on the Muppets, because of course. This was a fait accompli.

- Finally, the original indie rocker Beethoven visits Dan Harmon's The Crossroads of History. I have a new appreciation for his Fifth.

Posted 9:52am
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March 8th, 2016

Vote*

*unless it's for Donald Drumpf.

It's primary day here in the Mitten. It's an important election if for no other reason than the SCOTUS judges that will likely be replaced by our next president. But you know this already.

Since I'm not catching you unawares, I'm also going to assume you won't be voting for the racist reality TV show star. Even for those of you that are Republican, I assume that if said megalomaniac gets the GOP nomination, you'll be sitting this one out. Or hopefully voting for Gary Johnson or whomever the Dems put up, just not that bigoted Oompa Loompa.

I can tell you this (not that it matters probably) but if you at any point cast a vote for someone who thinks all Mexicans are rapists, you are dead to me. Don't call, don't write, don't say hello to me in the street. You are an unserious toilet person whom society should shun. Since they likely won't, I will.

It's really the best for both of us. I won't be able to hide my disdain for your unscrupulous decision and you'll probably start urinating all over the place while shouting nonsensical gibberish, because you've clearly lost all regard for how society works. You don't need me to dress you down with words you can't comprehend, and I don't need to see you masturbate in public.

I am 100% serious about this. Now go practice democracy and save us from ourselves.

Posted 10:11am
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February 23rd, 2016

This Week in Indie Rock

- Are you a white male over the age of 35? If not, you can probably move on, since the demographic for Rush seems to exclusively be boring dads at this point. Since I am in that demo, here's a supercut of Rush rocking "Tom Sawyer" over the last 13 years. The River!

- Courtney Barnett rocks Colbert, plays the Majestic in Detroit on May 31st.

- The Flaming Lips have been covering lots and lots of David Bowie on tour - here's 9 Bowie tunes from their Aspen set.

- New Thao & The Get Down Stay Down - still the best backing band name of all time.

- New music from The Thermals - playing the Blind Pig in Ann Arbor on April 21.

- New Nada Surf, currently not scheduled to play Michigan anytime soon :(

- Surprising no one, we just got back from another sojourn to the great white north, so here's a hip new Canadian band, Pet Sun.

- Finally, I've managed to curtail almost all of collecting/hoarding tendencies down to things in the digital realm (because they don't take up physical space) and vinyl. That one is not going away. While we already own a beautiful vintage jukebox, there's good news for the rest of you - jukeboxes will start to be manufactured again after a 20 year hiatus. Now you too can spend your Saturdays digging through boxes at dingy record stores around other sketchy obsessives to build your collection!

Posted 12:17pm
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February 10th, 2016

Should we, or should we not, follow the advice of the galactically stupid?!?

It is often said that no one is qualified to be President. Not going in anyway. It's too big a job and no one person can possibly have all of the pre-reqs prior to being on the job. Of course that's why you have a cabinet full of advisors who are experts in all of the areas that you can't possibly be expected to be an expert in.

The President is supposed to be the leader. The pragmatist who governs by reason. That's why I voted for Obama. I figured that after eight years of W going from a combination of his gut and Jesus and listening exclusively to his daddy's old poker buddies, it'd be a nice change. I'm happy with what I got.

Now that two lunatics have won the first two contests for the GOP nomination, it's time to consider our two frontrunners beyond even their xenophobic, misogynistic asshole rhetoric and look a little deeper. Unsurprisingly, it's pretty shallow.

Exhibit A: Ted Cruz, weasel faced dickbag with zero national security experience, has hired someone with a Ph.D. in Art History whose prior experience in national security is working on Donald Rumsfeld's book and advising Rick Perry on the same issues that she hasn't clue one about. Anyone, literally anyone, who casts a vote for Ted Cruz or Donald Trump next November can do me the favor of never speaking to me again - because you clearly are less capable of picking a candidate than Cruz is of picking a national security advisor.

Posted 2:43pm
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January 29th, 2016

5 innocuous things that are making me happy in and around the present moment

- As my basement can attest, Star Wars merchandise is quite varied. My wallet will tell you that it's expensive, while some of my art projects will show you just how much fun you can have trying to recreate some of the Star Wars aesthetic on your own. I may not be as good as these guys, but I plan on standing on their shoulders: Build your own Rebel Pilot helmet! Build your own BB-8! And for the advanced amongst you, build your own real working lightsaber!

- I was raised to speak up when you see injustice in the world, lest you be complicit in it. So would I have had some choice words for Governor Snyder had I been at Old Town last night? You're goddamn right I would.

- As one would expect, my daily news feed is filled politics, indie rock, movies and various other entertainment and actual news sundries. Since falling in love with Montreal last summer, it is now also chockablock with all of those things strictly related to Montreal. Because guess what dum dums? We're going back in February! This time with the littlest in tow. I'm still scouting new breweries and restaurants to check out, because I have to find something to do when the girls go shopping.

- Trump may have skipped last night's debate in part because it fits his narrative and allows him to control the news cycle. Make no mistake about it however, it's also because he's a misogynist and bully. Here's a list of his twitter insults from the NYT. If you want this person to be president, or even think he'd make a good one, you're an idiot and an asshole too.

- Finally, this winter has been obscenely mild (he said, knocking on wood before February hits). I mean, I was in CANANADA on CHRISTMAS and left my coat at home. Yet, it's still not summer. Less things happen in the cold if for no other reason than people save their vacation days for things like the beach. However, now is the time people and entertainment entities start to plan for the thaw. So including our upcoming foray back to True North, there are friends coming into town, concerts to attend and various other plans to do fun things that require leaving the house, because if there's one thing you have to be to survive winter in Michigan, it's indefatigable - even if you're only planning your escape.

Posted 2:39pm
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January 13th, 2016

This Week in Indie Rock

- New music: Courtney Barnett.

- Old music: Jack White unearth's pre-White Stripes music.

- New album: The Thermals.

- New band: Washer.

- Old man, new cover: Willie Nelson sings "Imagine".

- Deceased Legend: David Bowie. Full disclosure, I've never truly taken the plunge down the Bowie rabbit hole. I feel like he's always been a part of my life, or at least the fabric of my universe and that his existence was a gigantically positive thing, but when someone asks what album "Suffragette City" is on, my response is "Ziggy Stardust?" But who doesn't love Bowie? I have nothing prescient to say about the man's passing, other than to echo everyone who noted how lucky we all were to walk the Earth at the same time he did, and how lamentable it is that's no longer the case. Here's Britt Daniel covering "Never Let Me Down" Here's Jemain Clement talking about The Conchords writing "Bowie in Space" and of course, Bowie eviscerating Ricky Gervais.

 

Posted 1:31pm
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January 4th, 2016

5 innocuous things that are making me happy in and around the present moment

- I did it! 365+ movies in 2015 that I hadn't seen before (and 47 that I had). It's not something I'm likely to try again, but it was an education. The capper would have been seeing Tarantino's The Hateful 8, but since we were in Montreal when it came out, we mistakenly tried to go see it dubbed in French (no subtitles). We made it about an hour before walking out, because what's the point of watching Sam Jackson and Kurt Russell if they both sound like Gerard Depardieu?

- I generally enjoy returning to a familiar spot for vacation just as much as exploring new places, because I always have favorite spots to return to, and Montreal tops that list at the moment. I was super excited to go back to one of the coolest planetariums I've ever been to, the best (and so far, only great) brewery in Cananada, and my favorite record store of all time. I mean, I don't want to bore you with talk of exchange rates and monetary policy, but everything there is automatically 25% off (just like everything in Cananada at the moment).

- Cananada has it over on the United States in so many ways it's kind of remarkable. This recent South Park episode does a pretty good job of illuminating some of it. Or just take the fact that they just elected a liberal PM who has promised to legalize weed. And in Quebec, liquor stores are already planning on distributing. Poutine munchies! Plus, this the view from where we stayed (for next to nothing):

Je t'aime Montreal.

- I generally can separate myself from the competitive nature of social media. I only try and post things to amuse myself, or on occasion very specific people. But I'll cop to it - I was starting to get jealous of people's cool vacation photos on instagram. They were making me feel boring. So I decided to try and step up my instagram game. At the end of the day it wasn't really about shoving my good time in someone's face, because I like having those pictures as memories from the trip, which was tre magnifique.

- Finally, we sent xmas cards out this year. Sorry if you didn't get one, maybe we didn't have your address? Or we were cheap and only sent out like 20. Either way, here you go if you were left out:

Cheers.

Posted 1:31pm
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This page is written and maintained by Tyler Brubaker. All content is spewed forth from the author's brain, unless otherwise credited. He views his opinion as much more valid than yours, but welcomes all thoughts and comments.